tv 2020 ABC January 29, 2016 10:01pm-11:01pm EST
>> reporter: it could have been mistaken for a christmas miracle. instead, it was a mystery. this is where it all began for you. >> that's right. >> reporter: a newborn baby boy wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, part of this catholic church's nativity scene 44 years ago. >> i was about five days old. >> reporter: no clues as to who abandoned him. his mother, missing. but another mother, watching over. >> i got a feeling like this might have been where my mother waited trying to muster the courage to do it. >> reporter: on that silent night, left with only a handful of disposable diapers -- but left by whom? now abc news and "20/20" are
helping to track down his parents. and he's not alone. tonight, out of thousands of "20/20" viewers and searchers on facebook, three desperate people, pleading for our help. a woman looking for her father -- why do you need to know who your dad is? a sister searching 29 years to find her brother -- >> what do you mean, there's two of me? >> reporter: what? >> she goes, "you're not alone." >> reporter: tonight, cold cases solved right in front of you. with a sleuth -- >> i've never seen these before. >> reporter: a scientist -- >> with dna, we will find a match for everyone that is searching. >> reporter: and a sixth sense. watch this woman, caught in a casino security video, captivated by the stranger next to her, believing he's that long-lost brother. >> oh, my god, it's my brother. total goosebumps.
it's him. it's him. >> reporter: looking for the lost -- whether they want to be found, or not. why did you wait so long? since the day i was born. >> good evening, i'm elizabeth vargas. >> and i'm david muir. viewers desperate for our help finding loved ones. >> so, we assembled a team to solve the cases. but tonight, something new and undefinable. gut intuition. is there something to it? decide for yourself, as we start with my trip to that texas church, and the search for the mother that left her baby in a manager. >> reporter: it's the dawn of the aptly-named "me" decade. 1971. "all in the family" premieres on television. president nixon installs that recording system. and the beegees were tearing up the charts with "how do you mend
a broken heart". ♪ my broken heart >> reporter: and in houston, texas, another heart was surely aching on a sunny wednesday afternoon, just days after christmas. a bouncing baby boy is discovered inside st. anne's christmas nativity scene. compounding the mystery, he appears to be healthy and well-cared for. >> apparently the mother had taken the baby jesus figure out of the manger and put the child in the manger in his place. >> reporter: two prayerful parishioners find him, but it falls to catherine allen, a 23-year-old rookie with the houston children's protective service, to rescue the baby in the manger. >> i laid him on my shoulder and he was quiet. >> reporter: at christmas in a nativity scene. >> exactly, what could be more dramatic? >> reporter: searcher d.j. williams, searching for his biological mother.
d.j. went from the manger to just below the masthead as front-page headline news. but if anybody knew who the mother was, they didn't bear witness. was there a plea for information? >> no one called. they had no leads to go on. >> reporter: what do you think that means? >> i would say she didn't want to be found. >> reporter: d.j. would eventually be adopted and grow up in a rural houston suburb with a loving mother, father and older brother. but he would never stop wondering about his humble beginnings. >> when i would be working on school projects or filling in family trees, i had to just kind of make it up as i went along. >> reporter: and young family and friends joined in the make-believe as well. >> they told me that my mother was loni anderson and that my father was burt reynolds. >> reporter: did you believe it? >> i did. i was gullible. i was willing to believe almost anything. >> reporter: today, d.j. is a manager at a starbucks inside a grocery store in baltimore, maryland. he lives with his partner, mike,
and their 6-year-old camera-shy son zephyr. they were home watching television last year when they believe their prayers were answered. how did you hear of pam? >> we had seen her on the "20/20" episode, with phone booth baby. >> reporter: so it was on this corner. 88th and columbus. it was the episode about louise jones, the woman abandoned as a baby in a new york city phone booth. with investigative genealogist pam slaton on the hunt for the missing mom. >> he felt connected to me and said to his partner, that's the girl that's going to help me. >> reporter: pam is constantly contacted for help, and she only works on cases she thinks she can solve. >> my stacks are kind of broken up by, current, not feeling it. driving me crazy. >> reporter: pam agreed to take the case. >> what we did do is have him submit dna. >> reporter: but d.j.'s case wasn't the only one confounding and cluttering the home office
in pam's south jersey house. >> me, an umbrella, high heels and the stairs. let's see what happens. >> where are we heading to, pam? >> long island. >> reporter: our next searcher, gina lozada of shirley, new york, is searching for her half-sibling. she is a mother and a wife, but she still has a hole in her heart. >> i want a full relationship. i will get it somehow. i am determined. >> reporter: gina grew up as an only child on the east end of long island, new york, with her mother and father. >> from early on, like, why can't i have a brother or a sister? >> reporter: until that fateful day 29 years ago when a tragic event turned that hole into a crater. gina's father died while on a construction job. he was only 48 years old, what happened? >> went to work one day, had a massive heart attack and that was it. never came home. it was devastating. >> reporter: gina's dad, and best friend, had passed away. she was inconsolable. even her mother could not
comfort her. >> i can't believe i have to go through this alone. if i had a brother or sister, we could kind of deal with it together. >> reporter: and then, a bombshell. >> and she was like, "i have to tell you something." she's like, "there's two of you." >> reporter: what? >> she goes, "you're not alone." >> reporter: it turns out gina's father had a child with another woman before he married gina's mom. but when the young woman's father found out, he banished the unwed 20-year-olds and forbade them from ever seeing each other again. so what did he know about that baby? >> my dad thought it was a boy, apparently. then later on, i guess, my mother heard that her first child was a girl. so for about 15 years, i searched for a girl. >> she said, you know, "i don't know if i have a brother or a sister. i'm not really sure what name this person was born under, and i'm not really sure where." and i was like, you know, "i'd love to help you, but --"
>> reporter: that's zero to go on. perhaps more promising is pam's third case, which brings us to philadelphia. not pennsylvania. philadelphia, mississippi. home to brandi's blues and mouth-watering barbecue. >> wow, that is beautiful. we ain't in new jersey no more. >> reporter: meet the searcher in case number three. amanda holdiness, who is searching for her dad, her biological father that she has never known. >> where am i? hi, honey. how are you? >> i've always wanted to be a daddy's girl. >> reporter: amanda's mother told her she was not married when she got pregnant, and when she told the man, he left. the absence really hit home in one of the most important moments of amanda's life. her wedding day. >> i've always seen ladies walk down the aisle with their father, and i never got it.
>> reporter: amanda finally confronts her mother and she finally tells her the name of the man she thinks is her father. amanda gives that information to pam slaton. >> all i did was give her five things about where he was from, where he lived, when they met, how old he was when they met. she called me and she said, "guess what?" i said, "what?" she said, "i found him!" i just -- i started crying. i said, "are you serious?" >> reporter: it happened so quickly. it was almost too good to be true. coming up -- amanda, and the test standing between her and the reunion she's dreamed about. >> when the lady called me from the dna place, she said, "i got the results." and i said, "where are they?" >> reporter: plus, what clues will be unearthed in this university of houston basement? >> these are the first time you're seeing these photos? >> yeah, i've never seen them before. >> that's incredible. >> reporter: will they help crack the curious case of the
mystery of the manger baby? be, i was active. i was a doer. then the chronic, widespread pain slowed me down. my doctor and i agreed that moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. he also prescribed lyrica. for some patients, lyrica significantly relieves fibromyalgia pain and improves physical function. with less pain, i feel better. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling or blurry vision. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. fibromyalgia may have changed things. but with less pain, i'm still a doer. ask your doctor about lyrica.
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at "20/20"'s request they interviewed our searcher d.j. williams and helped get the word out to their 2 million residents. >> well, a man is trying to find his birth parents. >> to really try and figure out who he is and where he came from. >> now abc and "20/20" are helping to track down his parents. >> reporter: how old were you when you finally got the full story of where you were found and how you were found? >> i was probably about 15. and i had been helping my grandmother and she showed me some newspaper clippings. >> reporter: maybe there are more articles that could contain a clue. the one newspaper that covered the story, "the houston post," is out of business but in the basement of the university of houston library, some old rolls of microfilm. >> i have someone here by the name of erin. she is going to help us go through the microfilm. >> i'm pam slaton. and this is d.j. >> so you haven't seen the articles? >> never have.
all i have is a little yellow clipping. >> well, it was definitely front page news. all right, so there it is. >> reporter: it didn't reveal much so we tracked the reporter of those old articles to hopefully shed some light. gary taylor was a cub reporter on the evening crime beat back in 1971. >> you were discovered about 5:00 p.m. on a wednesday. >> okay. >> on friday one of our photographers came over to wherever you were and took this set of photos of you. >> looks like i'm yawning. >> these are the first time you're seeing these photos? >> yeah, i've never seen them before. >> that's incredible. >> that is amazing. >> reporter: next stop, we take dj to see bennett greenspan, the ceo of familytree dna. >> so let's go and let's look at your dna. and if you look right here, you have one match. >> reporter: in what seems to be an early breakthrough, some of d.j.'s dna is matching up with someone else in the database. >> it doesn't get a lot better than that. >> it's pretty incredible, huh? >> that is. wow.
>> reporter: but who is it? when we last left searcher amanda holdiness, things were looking up for her as well. her mother's given her a name -- a man she says is her biological father. >> let me pop it open. >> reporter: now it's up to pam to track him down. and just like that, she does. >> reporter: in jupiter -- jupiter, florida. but her newfound father figure suggests they do a dna test. and the results are devastating. they are not related at all. so amanda, dejected, goes back to her mother, asking her for other names of those who might be her father. >> i said, can you remember anybody else? she's like, the only person i can remember is samuel. >> reporter: and this was samuel skinner. >> correct. >> reporter: samuel skinner, a man amanda's mom lived with for a couple of years.
pam finds samuel skinner living just down the gulf coast from amanda. in louisiana, just outside of new orleans. when skinner was dating amanda's mother, he was a firefighter in the military. today he enjoys feeding the animals in his garden and he looks a bit like santa clause. so, she called you and what did you say? >> she thought that i was her father. it was very shocking and my main question was, why so long? >> reporter: sam has spent the last 30 years thinking he only had one son. was re -- he wrong? back on long island, it was a long time coming as well for our searcher gina, to break down and finally call her father's old girlfriend. remember, gina's dad fathered a child with her. gina's would-be half-sibling. why did you wait so long? >> what if i call and she denies it? but she's like, i have waited a lifetime for this phone call. >> reporter: wow.
gina says the woman confirms the story about being forced to put a baby boy up for adoption. she tells gina that she has a half-brother and gives his birth name. gina immediately tells all this to pam. what did she need to launch this investigation? >> luckily i had the name. i knew probably where he was born. >> so i finally had a starting point. >> reporter: pam spends hours scrolling through birth index records and then a match. >> i realize that i am definitely looking at what i believe is her brother. >> reporter: ka-ching. wow. so pam makes the three hour journey from southern new jersey to new york city to the east end of long island. to lend gina the support she needs for the phone call of her life. >> we are at gina's house and we are getting ready to contact her brother for the very first time. >> this is so exciting. oh, my gosh. >> hi.
>> hi, miss gina. >> hi, how are you? >> good. >> reporter: together they compare the photos of the man pam found and her father's contractor license. >> the resemblance is unbelievable. >> reporter: remember, chris has no idea that he may even have a half- sister. >> here comes the moment. >> oh. the moment we've all been waiting for. >> reporter: gina is trembling. so nervous pam has to dial the phone for her. >> okay. i'm doing it. good luck. >> hi, can i speak to chris? >> reporter: but chris isn't home. it's chris' wife who answers the phone and gina doesn't want to leave a message. >> i'm actually searching for family so i'd really like to talk to him first. >> reporter: you had to coach her on what to say because it's important that you don't scare these people off. >> when you are contacting an adoptee, you don't really know if they know that they're adopted. >> reporter: the wife sounds suspicious, but still gives out a number for chris. >> she was very nice, but i
think she was a little taken aback. well, first of all, i'm a female looking for chris. >> hi, chris? my name is gina and is this a good time to talk? >> reporter: it is not going according to plan. >> can i call you back in a few minutes? >> reporter: that telephone reunion 29 years in the making is falling apart. >> he's on a conference call right now. >> reporter: 15 minutes go by. and this time he's not answering. >> oh, no, his voice mail answered. >> reporter: here comes attempt number three. gina doesn't want to pester, but she feels her chances slipping away. >> reporter: pam takes matters into her own hands. texting chris on gina's behalf. >> "hi, it's gina again.
can you talk? i have information for you." i mean, it's enticing. >> if we don't hear back from him. >> we should call back the wife. >> reporter: up next, sometimes it's not science that cracks the case. it's a sixth sense. a gut feeling. a weekend trip to a casino and gina thinks she, unbelievably, might be locking eyes with her missing brother. and it's all caught on tape. so you were having this reaction not because of what you saw -- >> oh, no. no, what i felt. >> reporter: stay tuned. >> our question for you tonight, if you got a phone call from a stranger like that, would you answer it? >> join the conversation on facebook and twitter, use #abc2020. david and i will be right back. e is gonna blow it away?
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>> okay, just checking. >> looks like it's working. >> reporter: the video diary of people finder pam slaton. she's come to the trickiest part of the search. hitting the phone harder than a telemarketer. >> my name is pam slaton. dna and databases are all well and good, but in the end it always comes down to persuading people to spill their family secrets to a total stranger over the telephone. pam makes a house call to client gina lozada on long island, new york. >> hello, ms. gina. >> reporter: who is about to make her own life-changing call. after 29 years of searching, gina feels achingly close to making contact with her half-brother. he picked up briefly before, but now nothing. >> oh, god, he's not answering. >> reporter: gina's starting to wonder if this simply wasn't
meant to be. in fact, it's not the first time she believes she has barely missed connecting with her brother. just days earlier, gina had a close encounter at, of all places, a casino. you and your husband decide to go gambling. >> yeah, we love atlantic city. >> reporter: take a look at the surveillance footage "20/20" has obtained from the golden nugget casino. you see gina and her husband suddenly come to a dead stop. gina says she is seized by the strangest feeling. you see her gesturing to her husband. she feels drawn to someone at the roulette table. there's gina. and see the gambler in the hat right there, not two feet away? a total stranger, but as the roulette ball bounces around, gina feels like her number just hit. >> oh, my god. that's my brother. >> reporter: what are the odds? >> total goosebumps. >> reporter: i can see them on your arm. >> my whole body just like, this is what happened. >> reporter: so you were having this reaction not because of
what you saw. >> oh, no. no, what i felt. >> reporter: what do you think that was? >> i don't know what i believe in. but that was something from above. >> reporter: but if it was him, gina blows a chance to meet her big brother. she just can't work up the courage. you want to yell at the screen as she turns and walks away. days later, between those attempts to get chris on the phone, gina questions his wife. >> let me ask you a question. was he just in the golden nugget on sunday? >> that was him. that was him. so many people spend their life wondering, you know, have i been in the same places as the person i'm looking for? is that the person i'm looking for across the room? they look like me. >> reporter: sometimes they are. >> exactly. >> reporter: sometimes they're right there. >> exactly.
>> reporter: from gina's casino encounter, to rural mississippi, where pam is just in time for a party at amanda's house. >> this is the birthday boy. >> wow, look at that cake. >> reporter: amanda's son is turning 8. he may be wishing his mother's dream of finding her birth father is finally about to come true. pam and amanda and her husband, mack, go to louisiana to meet a second man amanda's mother has identified as a possible father. his name is sam skinner. >> i just really hope my journey ends here. >> reporter: when you met samuel for the first time, what was that like? >> he couldn't keep his eyes. he kept on doing this and, i was like, why are you staring at me like that? he's like, girl, you are a spitting image of your mama. >> reporter: at their meeting and with many phone calls that follow, amanda and sam begin to bond.
but just to be sure, sam agrees to take the final step to prove he's really amanda's long lost dad. a dna test. while the results are still out, i went to visit sam. you hope you are her biological dad? >> well, yes. who wouldn't want a 30-year-old daughter that's not going to talk back to you no more and come around wanting money and already has grandkids you can spoil and send them home to them when i get -- who wouldn't want that? >> reporter: we were a little surprised to hear that sam says he's willing to be a father to amanda no matter what the dna results are. but he would insist that amanda stop searching. >> i think we would have to make some kind of arrangement. don't look for your other father then, no more. don't look anymore. you give me your love, i'll give you mine. >> reporter: but will amanda ever agree to that? depending on the dna results, she may not have to.
meanwhile, there are some exciting new dna results for the man we affectionately call manger baby, d.j. williams. >> there were two people who came up matching his dna very closely. so the question then became, are these two people related? >> reporter: two dna matches. and that's when once again pam strikes gold. she figures out the man is d.j.'s uncle, and that woman, she is d.j.'s half-sister. >> and it was just like christmas, i mean that for me was christmas, that was mind-blowing that it was such a direct dna hit. >> reporter: pam calls her. her name is rose and it turns out she's been on a search of her own. pam asks her why. >> and she said, you know, it's really funny, she said i just feel like there's something out there. >> reporter: what does that mean? >> i just feel like something's not right in my family, like there's a missing someone from my family. >> reporter: rose has another
revelation about the baby left at st. anne's church. >> i said, could you tell me what church your family attended? she said, well, i know that my mom attended st. anne's. >> reporter: st. anne's? >> yeah, st. anne's, which was -- >> reporter: the church where d.j. was left. >> so that was like, wow. the big one. >> reporter: pam slaton drives to baltimore, where d.j. lives now to deliver the stunning news she has found his half-sister and birth mother. >> what we found out is that that person that matched you is your uncle and your half-sister because we were able to determine who your birth mother is. [ laughter ] >> okay. >> i have goose bumps. >> it's just nervous laughter,
by the way. >> are you shocked? >> yeah. >> yeah? >> i would say shocked. >> this is your birth mother. >> oh. >> i can see that. >> i have her smile. >> yeah. >> that's crazy. >> reporter: but pam has heartbreaking news about the woman in the photo, the woman who left d.j. in the church, the mother he longed to meet, and maybe hug and hold. she is dead. >> unfortunately, she passed away. she passed away in 2013. >> reporter: still, this is not the end of d.j.'s journey, because pam has found four half-siblings. the family d.j. has always longed to know. and he's about to meet them in person. >> i had honestly given up hope for the longest time. wow. i just can't believe it. that's amazing.
>> reporter: when our search continues. a reunion as big as texas. and we get the results of amanda's dna test. and so both of you took a dna test, right? >> yes, we did. >> reporter: and you have the results? >> i do. >> reporter: okay. stay with us. a shampoo system infused with luscious, lightweight oils. in just one wash hair looks instantly and visibly nourished. transforms dry hair without weighing it down. sumptuously soft, weightlessly flowing, brilliantly shiny. as if transfromed. extraordinary. an incredible rebirth for dry hair. new extraordinary oil from l'oreal advanced haircare paris. and you're worth it.
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>> reporter: amanda holdiness' search for her biological father has stretched from her home in mississippi to a false lead and crushing disappointment in florida, to new orleans where a prospective new father has been located. and now her search brings her to new jersey, and the home of investigative genealogist pam slaton. >> her biological background. >> reporter: pam brought along dna detective and familytree dna founder bennett greenspan. amanda and her possible father, sam skinner, had both submitted samples for dna testing. and so both of you took a dna test, right? >> yes, we did. >> reporter: and you have the results? >> i do. >> okay. let's see them. >> reporter: this is the second moment of truth for amanda, already let down by one other would-be father, excluded by dna. now, the results of the second man, sam skinner, with whom she and pam have bonded.
>> i instantly liked him and i loved seeing samuel and amanda together because there appeared to be like an instant connection and the two of them just, it was like they knew each other their whole lives. >> reporter: amanda, her husband mack and their children have already made room in their hearts for the man she can't wait to start calling dad. and sam is ready to answer to the name. he's already making plans, you know, for your kids. but can a lifetime of hopes and dreams survive the science? the dna results are in. >> the part of my job that i hate, and i know you've been down on a long, long road. he is not your birth father. it's coming up negative. >> really? >> i'm sorry. you all right? i know. you've been down a long, tough road.
>> okay. >> reporter: when the test came in, no match. >> that had to be one of the most difficult things i had to do, was to know that it wasn't a match and to have this girl who was so excited to finally put this behind her, and to give her this devastating news that it wasn't a match, was not an easy job to do. >> reporter: now amanda has to share the bad news with the man who was almost her father. >> hello? >> hey, samuel? >> yeah. is this amanda? >> yeah, this is amanda. >> what's going on? >> they told me what the results are with the dna. >> okay, and? >> it's not good. >> reporter: in his own gruff way, sam couldn't have been more gentle and kind than if he actually had been amanda's
biological dad. >> don't get discouraged. don't think bad. just think positive. >> but there is one unresolved issue between them. remember what sam told me when i met him in new orleans? >> if i'm not the real father, i mean, we'll sit back and talk. if she's going to use me as a father, and i said that, use, we forget about the rest. don't go looking no more. >> reporter: he did tell me that he would be willing to be your dad, grandfather to your kids, but his one condition was that you stop looking. >> wow. >> reporter: amanda is stunned. but now on the phone, sam is ready to stay in amanda's life with no conditions. in fact, he encourages her to keep looking for her biological father. >> i hope you don't stop your search. and i hope you keep continuing on and find what you need. >> i think he fell in love with her.
he must have really loved amanda's mother and i think he felt that connection and i think he really truly wanted to be her father and if he wasn't her biological father, he cared enough about her to step in and, and take over as her father anyway. >> reporter: and yet for amanda, that wasn't enough. >> even though she has an emotional need to find a father, she also wants that real blood connection. >> reporter: so she's still looking. >> right. we're still looking. >> reporter: but will our other searcher cases have far better outcomes? after that fateful casino encounter, hours of unanswered calls straight to voicemail, followed by frantic texting and about five miles of pacing, all the love bottled up inside gina for 29 years is about to finally come pouring out.
>> here we go. >> reporter: she finally gets the man she is convinced is her long lost half brother on the phone. >> hi chris, it's gina. it certainly is. yes, i finally found you. are you shocked? oh! >> reporter: something so many of us might take for granted, a simple phone call. in this case, life-changing. for both of them. >> wow, this is crazy. i've been looking for you for 29 years, chris. >> reporter: gina has a million questions. >> what do you do for at&t? do you have any children? you have a stepdaughter, but do you have any other? no children? how long have you been married? what date in september did you get married? wow. my mother guessed that date actually. that was her parents' anniversary as well. >> reporter: later -- >> we'll do it. >> reporter: -- they make an appointment to meet in person, and you're invited to the reunion. that's still to come. >> well, it was great finally talking to you and i'm very happy that i found you.
>> reporter: down in baltimore, d.j. williams is happy too, getting ready to meet his family. but can his brand new texas siblings handle the truth about what their mother did? >> i know that this information is a bit of a shock for you guys. >> reporter: stay with us. mmmmm mmmm (laughter) mmmm, mmm, mmm mmmm, mmm mmm, mmm! mmmm, mmmm mmmm. yoplait. one-up your cup. add a few simple ingredients for a snack the whole family will love. mmmm. now, kay jewelers bringsr c's of you...the newest c: chocolate... ...levian chocolate diamonds. save up to 20% on select levian styles at kay,
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chris depaolo, who she is sure is her half-brother. now, her head-spinning moment at the roulette wheel is about to be trumped by this. >> hi! oh, my god! >> how are you? let me look at you. >> oh, my gosh. you look so much like your dad. unbelievable. >> reporter: sometimes just one hug is not enough. chris and gina return to that same roulette table at the golden nugget where she had that jolt of intuition about the gambler in the hat. >> you were oblivious. and you were just playing and focused. it was just so funny. i sat there and watched you and it was just crazy because i knew it was you. >> it's crazy. >> i just thank her. i mean, thank her and be a good brother. >> reporter: chris and gina say they are so sure their personal details match up that they don't
want or need a dna test. they say they know. >> reporter: there are lots of siblings who grew up and spent their whole life together and might not be as close as gina and chris seem to be. >> i think he's just -- he was very open to receiving her. >> reporter: if only her father had ever known. >> if you ask her, she would tell you he does. >> reporter: right. right. meanwhile, amanda, even after two devastating false leads in her search for her biological father, still hasn't lost hope. she gets a pep talk from pam slaton and our dna detective bennett greenspan. >> i brought bennett here because it was important for me that you remain hopeful and optimistic. >> i know this is painful news, but you have a lot to be hopeful for. thousands and thousands of people are testing every month and they're adding their samples to the database. i think it's only a matter of time. >> i feel like i've been on this journey with you. i have been.
i will remain committed to you and getting to the bottom of this, i promise you. >> reporter: and in houston, the biggest reunion of all, d.j. williams, also known as manger baby, is all set to meet -- for the first time in his life -- blood relatives. three half-sisters and a half-brother. and here they come, marching down the sidewalk and right into d.j.'s life. d.j.'s first hug -- and it's a long hug -- goes to rose, then katie, robert, and finally kirsten. for the first time since he was left alone in a church 44 years before, d.j. is in the arms of the biological family he never knew. >> so what are you thinking? >> you look like our uncle john. >> reporter: but amid the joy, there is tension as well, because d.j. now has to tell
them the story. they have no idea he was abandoned, left in a manger alone. now he tells them what their mother did. >> i guess i should start with -- my story begins in texas. >> yeah. >> when i was about five days old, i was found in the nativity scene of st. anne's catholic church. i was well cared for, very healthy, and i had a blanket and a stack of diapers and some formula with me. but looking back on the story and what i know now, i think that i was left there because that was the safest place that i could have been left at that time. i was born in december, so it was around christmas time. and, uh -- and so that would be the safest place that i would be found. i know that this information is a bit of a shock for you guys.
this is the article that ran in the "houston post." i know this is a lot to take in. >> reporter: d.j.'s search continues. the other big unknown -- his birth father. maybe, just maybe, he's out there somewhere watching tonight. there is one other person who was there almost from the very beginning of d.j.'s amazing journey -- the young social worker photographed so long ago, cradling the foundling in her arms. her name was catherine fitting,
and we found her, living in colorado. she was happy to fly back to see d.j. again for the first time in more than 40 years. >> you grew up nice and big. >> i did. i did. >> he was the most precious baby. you were a beautiful, beautiful baby. >> reporter: as for his birth mother, sadly, d.j.'s half-siblings -- all born later -- have no clue why she did what she did. but d.j. says he can live with that. really? you can be at peace with just knowing who she is, not why she did what she did? >> exactly. i mean, for me, it -- it was about finding that connection. you know, you're like a -- like you're just floating in the sea and you don't have any anchor to -- to hold onto. and so now i -- i have something to hold onto. and i'm not letting go.
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if you are looking for a lost loved one, we want to hear from you. go to abcnews.com. i'm elizabeth vargas. >> so many of you responding to our first report. can't wait to hear from you again. i'm david muir. have a good night. ape coming up on "action news" a cold blooded killer shatters a a local family's future,. and the the pope's